Budget: social grants go up, but not as much as inflation
Covid grant budget slashed by R8-billion
- Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has announced increases to social grants which are lower than inflation.
- The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant is extended until 31 March 2024. The budget is down by R8-billion from the previous budget of R44-billion.
- Godongwana also allocated R2.4-billion to the South African Post Office to boost sustainability.
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has announced increases to social grants during his Budget Speech on Wednesday, but these are lower than the inflation rate.
The minister allocated R36-billion to fund the extension of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant until 31 March 2024. This is down by R8-billion from the previous SRD budget of R44-billion.
He said that R30-billion would be used for inflation-linked increases for other social grants. But the grants do not keep pace with inflation, currently running at 6.9% between January 2022 and January 2023 according to StatsSA. Food prices are rising even faster, up more than 13% over the year.
Changes to grants this year are as follows:
- Foster Care Grant will increase from 1 April by R50 from R1,070 to R1,120 and to R1,130 in October 2023.
- Child Support Grant will increase by R20 from R480 to R500 from 1 April 2023. It will increase to R510 in October.
- Disability Grant will increase by R90 from R1,990 to R2,080 in April 2023 and R2,090 in October 2023.
- The Old Age Grant also increases by R90 from R1,990 to R2,080 in April 2023 and to R2,090 in October 2023.
- The Care Dependency Grant increases by R90 from R1,990 to R2,080 in April and R2,090 in October 2023.
- The War Veterans Grant will also increase by R90 from R2,010 to R2,100 in April 2023 and to R2,110 in October.
Godongwana did not mention the other grants in his budget speech.
The inflation rate for pensioners according to StatsSA is even higher than the 6.9% inflation rate, at 7.6% a year.
Godongwana allocated R2.4-billion to the South African Post Office. He said this “will be accompanied by strict conditions to ensure sustainability, accountability and transparency”.
“If the conditions are not met, the money will not flow,” said Godongwana.
He acknowledged that “households are under pressure from the rising cost of living”. “This is not an austerity budget,” said Godongwana. “It is a budget that makes tough trade-offs in the interests of the country’s short and long term prosperity.”
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